That New Yorker cover got all the attention

But a longer story inside is very revealing, and the guys at Powerline have parsed it attentively.

In a long New Yorker article Ryan Lizza documents the
rise of Barack Obama in Chicago from community organizer to United
States Senator. Lizza’s article coincidentally demonstrates that
Obama’s grandiosity is a quality that can be traced through his years
in Chicago. The entire article is worth reading.

But requires devoted time to get through and absorb. Scott
Johnson offers some excerpts, and they should draw you into the actual

Like this:

{Obama secured the endorsement of state senator Alice
Palmer to succeed her while she unsuccessfully sought the Democratic
endorsement for a congressional seat and then refused to step aside to
let her reclaim her position. Palmer filed a petition for a place on
the ballot.] Obama was conciliatory about the awkward political
situation, telling the Hyde Park Herald that he understood that some
people were upset about the “conflict between old loyalties and new
enthusiasms.” Privately, however, he unleashed his operators. With the
help of the Dobrys, he was able to remove not just Palmer’s name from
the ballot but the name of every other opponent as well. “He ran
unopposed, which is a good way to win,” [former D.C. Circuit Judge
Abner] Mikva said, laughing at the recollection.

And this:

[Obama helped design his new senate district running
from the South Side to the North.] The new district was a natural fit
for the candidate that Obama was in the process of becoming. “He saw
that when we were doing fund-raisers in the {Rep. Bobby} Rush campaign
his appeal to, quite frankly, young white professionals was dramatic.”…

In the end, Obama’s North Side fund-raising base and his South Side
political base were united in one district. He now represented Hyde
Park operators like Lois Friedberg-Dobry as well as Gold Coast doyennes
like Bettylu Saltzman, and his old South Side street operative Al
Kindle as well as his future consultant David Axelrod. In an article in
the Hyde Park Herald about how “partisan” and “undemocratic” Illinois
redistricting had become, Obama was asked for his views. As usual, he
was candid. “There is a conflict of interest built into the process,”
he said. “Incumbents drawing their own maps will inevitably try to
advantage themselves.”

And, a glimpse of some early self-assurance:

Obama has frequently been one step ahead of his friends
and the public in anticipating his own rise. Perhaps it is all those
people he has met over the years who told him that he would be
President one day. The Reverend Alvin Love, a South Side Baptist
minister and a longtime Obama friend, said that Obama called him in
December, 2006, seeking advice about whether to run for President. “My
dad told me that you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot,” Love
recalls saying, and Obama replied, “The iron can’t get any hotter.”

Obama has always had a healthy understanding of the reaction he
elicits in others, and he learned to use it to his advantage a very
long time ago. Marty Nesbitt remembers Obama’s utter calm the day he
gave his celebrated speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention,
in Boston, which made him an international celebrity and a potential
2008 Presidential candidate. “We were walking down the street late in
the afternoon,” Nesbitt told me. “And this crowd was building behind
us, like it was Tiger Woods at the Masters.”

“Barack, man, you’re like a rock star,” Nesbitt said.

“Yeah, if you think it’s bad today, wait until tomorrow,” Obama replied.

“What do you mean?”

“My speech,” Obama said, “is pretty good.”

Just wait until Denver, when he’s surrounded by 75,000 cheering
supporters. That makes a huge difference in how a candidate’s promises
and policies and beliefs are perceived. (It will certainly help John
McCain, but not to the degree it will make Obama soar.)

Wathing him deliver his Iraq speech yesterday, I thought about how
different that same speech would be if he were in a stadium surrounded
by tens of thousands of adoring fans, as many of his campaign speeches
were set during the primaries. It’s totally different to read the text. It was basically the same content as his op-ed piece that appeared in the Times the day before.

NRO has analyzed that content. So did Rich Lowry.

And the Washington Post.


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